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Bass Fishing

A person holds up a bass with a lake in the background

Bass Fishing

An angler proudly displays his smallmouth bass catch.

Bass are the top freshwater gamefish species pursued nationally and are always among the top targets mentioned by anglers when surveyed in Michigan. The following are recommended bass waters to fish throughout the summer:

Southwest Lower Peninsula

Look for largemouth bass in Wabasis Lake (Kent Co.), Green and Hutchins lakes (Allegan Co.), or Gun/Gull lakes (Barry Co.)

  • Use plastic worms, spinnerbaits or shallow-diving crankbaits in the early summer
  • As the summer progresses, try large tube jigs or deep-diving crankbaits

Look for smallmouth bass in Flat River (upstream of Lowell), the Grand River (below Lansing, below Moores Impoundment) or the Kalamazoo River (DHHS has do-not-eat advisory for fish between Morrow and Lake Allegan dams)

  • Try deep pools on outside bends, especially pools that have log jams for cover
  • Try live bait (worms, grasshoppers, crickets), spinners or flies

Southeast Lower Peninsula

  • Lake St. Clair is one of the best bass fishing destinations in the country. Bassmaster magazine has named it in its top 10 destinations to fish for bass for the past several years (it was #4 in 2018).
  • Macomb County: Lake St. Clair, Stony Creek Impoundment
  • Oakland County: Kent Lake (boat launch at Kensington Metropark)
  • Wayne County: Belleville Lake (2 DNR boat launches)
  • Lenawee County: Devils Lake, Sand Lake (both have DNR boat launches)
  • Washtenaw County: Halfmoon Chain of Lakes (DNR launch on Halfmoon Lake), Portage Chain of Lakes (DNR launch on Portage Lake), Whitmore Lake, Ford Lake (Ypsilanti Township Public Launch)
  • Jackson County: Wamplers Lake (DNR launch at Walter Hayes State Park)

Western Upper Peninsula

  • Portage - Torch waterway (Houghton County) numerous launch sites are available 
  • Dead River Basin (Marquette County) launch site on east end
  • Teal lake (Marquette County) launch site in Negaunee